The New Hampshire Employment Law Guide

The state laws every business owner should know

Businesses must post all applicable state and federal labor law posters in the workplace.

New Hampshire labor law posters to download

Federal labor law posters to download

Wages and Breaks

Minimum wage
$7.25

The current minimum wage in New Hampshire is $7.25. It is set to be the same as the federal rate.

Tipped min wage
$3.27

The minimum wage for tipped employees is $3.27.

Employers are not allowed to require employees to participate in a tip pooling or sharing agreement.

Overtime
1.5X

Non-exempt employees must be paid an overtime rate of 1 ½ times the regular rate of pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in one workweek.

The federal overtime rule stipulates that the minimum salary requirement for administrative, professional, and executive exemptions is $684 per week, or $35,568 per year.

Breaks
30 min per 5 hrs

Employers are required to provide a 30-minute meal period to employees who work more than 5 consecutive hours.

The employee must be paid if the employer cannot allow a 30-minute break and the employee is required to eat and work at the same time.

Weekly breaks
24 hrs per 7 days

Employers must allow their employees to have at least 24 consecutive hours off from work in every seven-day period.

Final Paychecks

Employees who are terminated or who quit must be paid final wages within 72 hours.

If an employee who quits does not give at least one pay period’s notice of their resignation, they must be paid by the next regular payday.

Employees who are laid off or who resign due to a labor dispute must be paid by the next regular payday.

Child Labor

Minors 14 and 15 years of age

Minors 14 and 15 years of age are subject to the following time restrictions:

When school is in session, they may work a maximum of 3 hours a day on school days, a maximum of 23 hours a week, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. They may not work  during school hours.

When public school is not in session, they may work a maximum of 8 hours a day, no more than 48 hours a week, no more than 6 days a week, a maximum of 6 consecutive days. They can work  between the hours of 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. between June 1 and Labor Day.

Minors 16 and 17 years of age

When school is in session, they may not work during school hours and not more than 30 hours per week. They can work a maximum of eight hours at night and no more than 6 consecutive days. Manufacturing shifts must be less than 10 hours. They can work no more than 10 ¼ hours per day for manual and mechanical work.

When school is not in session, they may work no more than eight hours per day, a maximum of 48 hours per week, a maximum of 54 hours per week if not enrolled in school, a maximum of eight hours at night, and no more than 6 consecutive days. Manufacturing shifts must be less than 10 hours. They can work no more than 10 ¼ hours per day for manual and mechanical work.

Leave Requirements

Sick days

Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid sick leave but must comply with their own established policies if they choose to implement one.

Family and medical leave

Employers may be required to provide an employee unpaid leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.

Bereavement leave

Employers are not required to provide bereavement leave.

Vacation time

New Hampshire does not require employers to provide leave.

Holiday leave

Private employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid time off for holidays.

Jury Duty

Employers are not required to pay employees for time taken to serve on a jury or respond to a jury summons, but employees may not be punished in any way for doing so.

Voting time

New Hampshire does not require employers to provide leave.

Crime Victim Leave

Employers must provide leave for an employee who is the victim of a crime (or their immediate family member) to prepare for and attend a criminal proceeding unless providing the leave would cause an undue hardship. Employers can require that the employee use accrued paid vacation time, personal leave, or sick leave for crime victim leave.

Military Leave

Employers may not discharge or discriminate against employees because they are members of the National Guard or take military leave. In addition, employers may not take or threaten to take an adverse employment action against an employee to convince them not to enlist.

Hiring, firing, and more

Discrimination

Federal law makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of: Race, Color, Age, Sex, Sexual orientation, Gender, Gender identity, Religion, National origin, Pregnancy, Genetic information, including family medical history, Physical or mental disability, Child or spousal support withholding, Military or veteran status, Citizenship and/or immigration status.

Additionally, the state of New Hampshire prohibits discrimination based on the following: Use of tobacco products outside the course of employment; Marital status; Domestic violence victim status.

Click here to read our blog on what acceptable and unacceptable questions to ask during an interview.

Termination

New Hampshire is an employment-at-will state, which means that without a written employee contract, employees can be terminated for any reason at any time, provided that the reason is not discriminatory and that the employer is not retaliating against the employee for a rightful action.

In the case of layoffs and workforce reductions, employers must provide written notice to the New Hampshire Department of Employment Security regarding temporary or permanent layoff of 25 or more workers. The notice requirement applies in the following circumstances: If 25 or more workers are laid off in the same calendar week; If the layoff is expected to last at least seven days; If the layoff is because of a vacation or holiday shutdown; If the layoff is because of a company closure.

Record Keeping

Regarding employment and payroll data, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and others, you must:

For at least 3 years: keep payroll records, certificates, agreements, notices, collective bargaining agreements, employment contracts, and sales and purchase records. Also keep completed copies of each employee’s I-9 for three years after they are hired. If the employee works longer than three years, hold on to the form for at least one year after the employee leaves. 

For at least 2 years: Keep basic employment and earning records like timecards, wage-rate tables, shipping and billing records, and records of additions to or deductions from wages. Also keep the records that show why you may pay different wages to employees of different sexes, such as wage rates, job evaluations, seniority and merit systems, and collective bargaining agreements.

For at least 1 year: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says employers should keep all employment records for at least one year from the employee’s date of termination. 

Other record-keeping laws that may apply to you: 

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, you need to keep records of job-related injuries and illnesses for five years. But some records, like those covering toxic substance exposure, have to be kept for 30 years.

You must keep files of benefit plans and seniority and merit systems while they are in effect and for at least a year after they end. You must also retain summary descriptions and annual reports of benefits plans for six years.

If your company is covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act, you must also retain relevant records of leaves, notices, policies, and more for three years. 

Additional laws that may apply to you

Pay Practices

Employees must be paid within 8 days after the end of the workweek if paid on a weekly basis, and within 15 days of the end of the workweek if paid on a bi-weekly basis.

New employees must be informed of the following: The day wages are paid; The place wages are paid; Their rate of pay.

Credit and Investigative Checks

Employers may not obtain a credit report on an applicant or employee unless they inform them before requesting the report. If an employer discharges, refuses to hire, or takes another adverse employment action because of the report, even in part, they must advise the applicant or employee and provide them with the name and address of the credit reporting agency that produced the report.

Background checks

New Hampshire requires that employers conduct background checks on the following types of employees: School personnel, including volunteers, except those at nonpublic schools; Day care personnel, including residents if services are offered in-home; Foster care agency personnel who provide care for or have contact with children; Children’s camp personnel; Residential care and health facility personnel, including volunteers, who have direct contact with clients, client records, or client tissue, bodily fluids, or other biological material; Those working for an agency authorized by the department to offer personal care services or intermediary services and who have direct contact with a client.

Whistleblower Protection

Employers may not discharge or discriminate against an employee because the employee does any of the following: Reports what they reasonably believe to be a violation of a state or federal law or rule; Opposes or refuses to participate in what they reasonably believe to be a violation of state or federal law; Participates in an investigation regarding an alleged violation of the law.

COBRA

COBRA is a federal law that allows many employees to continue their health insurance benefits after their employment ends. Because federal COBRA only applies to employers that have 20 or more employees, many states have adopted their own versions of the law, which are known as “mini-COBRAs.” New Hampshire’s mini-COBRA allows employees to continue their coverage for up to 18 months. Each individual certification of coverage and summary plan description must contain a notice of the right to continue coverage. We recommend that employers inform their insurer of an employee’s triggering event as soon as it occurs.

Shift Scheduling

Employers are prohibited from retaliating against an employee who requests a flexible work schedule. Employers are not required to oblige the request, but no negative action against the employee can be taken.

Employee Monitoring

Employers may not listen to, record, use, or disclose their employees’ oral communications or telecommunications unless all parties to the communication consent. Other forms of surveillance are prohibited in any place where an employee would not expect to be monitored.

New Hampshire is an “all parties” consent state, meaning every person on a phone call must be aware that they are being monitored or recorded and have consented by placing or continuing the phone call. This means employers may monitor or record phone calls between their own employees only if each employee has been given notice that phone calls may be monitored or recorded.

Social Media

Employers may not do the following:

Request or require that an employee or prospective employee disclose login information for accessing any personal account or service through an electronic communication device.

Compel an employee or applicant to add anyone, including the employer or the employer’s agent, to a list of contacts associated with an electronic mail account or personal account or require an employee or applicant to reduce the privacy settings associated with any electronic mail or personal account that would affect a third party’s ability to view the contents of the account.

Take or threaten to take disciplinary action against any employee for such employee’s refusal to comply with a request or demand by the employer that violates this subdivision.

Compliance Calendar

Get our Compliance Calendar to stay on top of deadlines throughout the year: View it on your computer. Click + Google Calendar in the lower right to add it to your Google Calendar and subscribe to all updates. You can also download a calendar (.ics) file that you can import into iCal or Outlook, or download a PDF to your computer.  

Looking for ways to stay up to date on employment
laws
and small business news?

Subscribe now to get our weekly newsletter and
compliance updates

 Remember

This summary is not qualified legal advice. Laws are always subject to change, and they can vary from municipality to municipality. It’s up to you to make sure you’re compliant with all laws and statutes in your area. If you need more compliance help, we recommend consulting with a qualified lawyer, checking with your local government agencies, or signing up for Homebase to get help from our certified HR Pros. 

Additional Resources